Volunteer Appreciation

The Burnaby Village Museum Loves Volunteers

For more than 40 years, the Burnaby Village Museum (BVM) has remained one of the city’s most exciting, vibrant and iconic attractions. This is, in great part, thanks to our amazing group of volunteers. Last year alone, some 230 volunteers contributed more than 11,000 hours of their time.

BVM’s volunteers bring an incredibly diverse and impressive set of experiences, skills and talents to help “history come to life.” Along with leading some educational school programs, volunteers assist with community events and share their specialized skills to offer unique programs such as the Model T Car Rides and Auto Shop Apprentice. Our volunteers also work behind the scenes with researching, cataloguing and updating the museum’s database.

To express our gratitude for all their help and hard work, the museum hosts a few volunteer appreciation events throughout the year, such as our annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea in February and a barbeque in August – a fun tradition that allows our volunteers and staff to relax over a casual meal, with museum staff providing table service as a special thank you. Here, many stories are shared and friendships formed over cool glasses of lemonade and tasty barbeque.

These events are a small token of thanks to our group of dedicated volunteers; and the museum’s growing emeritus program is a perfect example of their ongoing commitment. Rather than retiring, volunteers are instead choosing to stay connected with us by attending monthly workshops, volunteer appreciation events, and sharing information and updates through our monthly newsletters.

We also offer sincere thanks to our outgoing Honorary Reeve Doreen Kennedy… and extend a warm welcome to Robin Orr, who takes on this position for 2019. Robin will continue the long tradition of serving as our ambassador, making local appearances and speaking at special events.

Interestingly, the Reeve’s position in Burnaby has historically transitioned into that of mayor. The very first example of this is Mr. Alan H. Emmott, who served as the City’s last Reeve and became the first mayor from 1958-1968. During the 1920s – the period represented at the museum – the Reeve actually held the most senior administrative position in the City.

As the museum grows and gets busier, our need for dynamic volunteers also grows. To help streamline the volunteer process, we’re continuing to improve registration, training and learning opportunities.

BVM offers two intake periods during the year – March-April for spring and summer and October-November for fall and winter. During the last orientation and training session in March, we were excited to welcome 10 new BVM volunteers. The museum also hosts monthly workshops featuring different speakers and subjects, ranging from the history of Chinese-Canadian market gardens and Indigenous history to exhibit design and interpretation.

For more information on being part of the lively BVM volunteer team, please visit us at burnabyvillagemuseum.ca/volunteers.